Good nutrition is about going back to how things were. Before we built tools and machines, men had to to go out, sprint, hunt, kill, and pick everything they ate. They spent as much calories (if not more) looking for food as they ingest. It certainly is better than our daily walk (if not car ride) to the supermarket.

It was Chris Martin of Coldplay that said, “Oh, let’s go back to the start.” Let’s do that.

But I’m not talking about what the song was trying to say.

Good nutrition is about going back to how things were. Before we built tools and machines, men had to to go out, sprint, hunt, kill, and pick everything they ate. They spent as much calories (if not more) looking for food as they ingest. It certainly is better than our daily walk (if not car ride) to the supermarket.

So what did they eat?

Simple!

Any type of protein (fish, lamb, beef, chicken –in the spirit of effective weight loss, we should stick to lean sources)

Vegetables (again, in the spirit of weight loss, we should stay away from those that have high starch content, i.e. potatoes)

Fruit (not too much, 2-3 servings a day should do)

Did they eat sugar? NO

Did they eat soy sauce? NO

Did they eat dairy? To a certain extent but not too much.

Did they eat rice or wheat? Only when they discovered agriculture.

Sounds easy? Not really. They had to portion their food because one hunt would be equivalent to food for the next couple of days. Because of modern technology, we have an overabundance of food (mostly junk food) and we tend to overeat. So other than knowing what we SHOULD eat, we have to PORTION it as well.

On Diets

A diet is a way of eating. It’s not what today’s media paints it to be—a weight loss program. No, a diet is what you eat daily. So what I want to do is change what you eat every day and not simply put you on a temporary 40-day eating program. This diet is for life.

I’ve tried every weight loss program out there and the one thing they have in common is that they are hard to sustain because either the portioning is too low, the calories are restrictive, you’re only allowed to eat certain foods, or it’s sooo convenient (meal delivery services) that once you’re off it, you can’t sustain it by yourself.

Your life is not a fad, so your food choices should be either.

On Calories

I am not a fan of calorie counting for the simple reason that it makes people paranoid. But it’s good to have an objective:

For active men (active meaning those that workout 5-6 times a time), you should aim for 1900-2500 calories a day. Active women, on the other hand, should aim for about 1300-1800 calories a day.

The problem with counting calories is that people think the less you take in, the faster you will lose weight. While this may be true in theory, it also means you might not have enough energy for your workouts or even function properly that and you won’t lose weight as quickly as you thought because

1)      your body starts using your muscles as fuel and holds on to your fat for survival

2)      you won’t be able to perform activities that would help you gain muscle and burn fat.

Also, calories are not created equal. 2 pieces of chicken breasts will always be higher in calories and much better for you than their caloric equivalent in white bread (maybe 7 pieces?) because your body can use chicken calories more efficiently.

So as long as you eat clean calories in their proper portioning, you’ll be fine.

Frequency

We want to help our bodies digest the food. So if you’re only eating two huge meals a day, you are overloading your body’s digestive system. This is why you feel sluggish after a big meal.

Think of your body as a big fire. You want to keep adding small pieces of wood to keep a steady and increasing heat going. If you decide to put a large log in the fire, the intensity will subside at first before coming back to the same roaring life it had.

So for a more efficient burn (pun intended), aim for three meals and two small snacks a day that are all balanced in nutrition and in proper proportions.

Carbohydrates

Carbs get a bad rap. No, you’re not supposed to eliminate them from your diet completely. Here are some examples of high carb and low carb vegetables. Yes, they are ALL carbs. ‘But Erwan there are no grains?’ Yup, not all carbs are grains, but all grains are carbs. Got that? What does that mean? Simply choose the carbs that sit the best with you!

I get most of carbohydrates from fruit and vegetables. I only reach from the whole grain carbs (brown rice, quinoa, etc..) and some high starch vegetable carbs (potatoes) after a workout and properly portioned (1/2cup). But as much as possible i try to avoid processed wheat carbs (bread, cereal,etc…) but when i do take them in, i make sure they are as less processed as possible and as whole as possible.

Ex: Whole wheat, the marketing term, means 51% whole wheat. 49% percent whatever else we want to add.

Got all that? Weight loss and being healthy isn’t as hard as you think. Just keep these basics in mind.

Got any more thoughts on nutrition? Let me know!

Erwan Heussaff
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